The Words

The Words escape me from time-to-time. I think, I sit, and I go blank. Other days, I read, I hear, I see and the words cascade from mind to fingers and there’s something on the page. Yeah, The Words are fickle in that hard-to-get way; hot and cold, nowhere to be found when I want them to come, but swimming around my head when I’m trying to sleep. They show up when there’s money involved, so I can’t complain too much, but our association was never about money.

Sure, who wouldn’t like to get paid for something they love to do? However, any dreams I may have are completely separate from what I intend to do in this space. It’s been eight years since I decided to combat insomnia by chronicling what I experienced on a daily those. Those experiences, and observations, became The World According to Teef and helped develop a writing style that’s placed me in some pretty good positions to today. This site has always helped me become more aware of the world around me and the potential impact I could have in certain segments of my immediate surroundings.

The Words have made me a better man.

I’ve drank, hurt, cried, struggled, laughed, loved and lived through The Words you’ve read and as I contemplated adding a final period to the site, I remembered that this blog has been a part of me since those cold nights in my basement thinking of the craziest things to come to mind. The Words have provided a refuge for me, a safe haven for my thoughts and fears, yet have also acted as the tip of the spear as I decided to fight against my own insecurities. The Words have allowed me to be my most vulnerable; stripped bare in front of an audience that has grown from the seven or eight people I used to e-mail every morning to the couple thousand who check in weekly, even when there hasn’t been any new content added in weeks.

I find joy in learning someone is new to the site. I can always tell, they read one article, then start picking through the archives and the next thing you know I have a new subscriber. Yet, there still are disappointments. For instance, I spend a couple hours trying to get The Words to come together and the numbers just aren’t there. Conversely, I put a few minutes into something inconsequential and hundreds of people read within hours and the views continue to rack up weeks, months, even years after it was published. That happens more times than not, which causes an internal struggle, because though I don’t want to be as serious as some of the sites and writers I enjoy, I don’t won’t to be pedestrian either.

The Words have always had rhythm to them in my head; they seem to flow to music only I could hear and I’ve translated that music into the thousands of blogs written through the years. At times, I can’t catch the beat and I’m off-kilter trying to write through the silence in my head. I’ve started and stopped many blogs in recent months, scrapping ideas as soon as I think of them, hoping the moment comes when I can merge what I thought before into something that happens when I hear the music. It’s happened one or three times, because the world moves at a similar rhythm and affords me the opportunity to sound off often.

I’ve learned that I don’t need to put words to everything; I struggle more with that concept in life than I do with the blog these days, but not everything needs my commentary. For instance, the Grammy Awards last week were ripe for me to destroy, but these days music plays a huge part in my relationship with The Words, so it was in my best interest not to comment as harshly as I wanted to. That’s not to say those thoughts won’t materialize somewhere else, but I’ll be removed from the emotions associated with that night and possibly talking about something completely different. I’ve learned there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

The Words have made me question myself.

I didn’t want to quit without being able to answer the questions related to trying to create something meaningful, something associated with art. Was I creative? Did I challenge myself and others enough? Was I complacent or too in love with contemporary structures? Those questions are directly related to my inventory of the artists I’ve come to admire and love. They were and are challengers, contenders against the status quo and representatives for those whose voices have been obscured by time, circumstance and institutions.  To me, that’s the beauty of the Internet and social networks, the creators of art of curators of culture are so much closer now than they’ve ever been.

The inspiration to develop your art is mouse clicks away and your words, your music, your voice, your art can travel further than your eyes and mind in minutes, allowing you to see the benefit of your energy. There are moments when my words are dwarfed by those who dedicate their lives to thought and actions, making me feel like a part-time observer, a weekend warrior of sorts. It’s in those moments I want to delete every word I’ve ever written and pretend as if this space never existed.

The Words have a way of making you unjustly critical of yourself.

Instead, I’m here, closing in one thousand more words to convince myself to continue writing, for you to continue reading. Besides, your cousins are still living out their “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fantasies and our kids are struggling to grow in an environment that stifles them. Not to mention, I’ll go crazy without an outlet for all of the nonsense that runs through my head on a daily basis.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the World According to Teef.

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